The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films Ranked No. 6 - 2


 I think that by the end of this article it will be obvious who is my favourite character in the MCU, ranking these films has been a lot of fun but as I have said many times before also a little frustrating.  With the exception of just a few films, most of the list has felt like I have put something too low, in my last article (The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films Ranked No. 11 - 7) I struggled with all of the films I talked about.  The MCU has been one of the best (some people would say worst) things in film for the last ten years.  I love original, small budgets, foreign language, and non-action films too, but there is something so heartwarming about going into the theatre to see the newest release in the MCU.  Now that we are on the precipice of phase four, it seemed like a good time to revisit the earlier films.  Endgame did such a good job of wrapping up storylines for characters (in ways more final for some than others) and setting up potential new stories for future films to explore.  With only six films left to rank, I think it is obvious to see I am a big Cap (Captain America) fan.  There is also the Guardians of the Galaxy film and the last two Avengers films, so let's get to business.

6) Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

The first time I watched Guardians I came out of the theatre and was just like "that was okay" but with every viewing since I have become more and more enamoured with the film.  The climax with the dance-off to distract Ronan the Accuser was not really my thing, but I have no other complaints about the film.  The casting was great and I thought every single one of the actors did a great job, to make a tree that can only say three words make people cry with his death shows how good of a job they did building up our characters.  Spending the time getting to know the characters has kept paying off in every appearance by the Guardians since the first film.  The film was also the first foray into the cosmic part of the MCU which has been teased will become bigger from phase four and onward.  Guardians would probably be not as memorable if it were not for the soundtrack, James Gunn picked some classics while also putting some music that was less known.  Between the characters, humor and music Guardians is one of the most unique, fun, and heartfelt movies in the MCU.

5) Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Like my first viewing of Guardians in 2014, my first viewing of Captain America: The First Avenger left me feeling indifferent.  I did not dislike the film, but I also was not wowed by it.  Since I am ranking it fifth out of 23, it is safe to assume I am a big fan, and much like Guardians it is a film I like more and more every time I watch it.  Some of the reasons why I like it because it sets up so much for Captain America that will be paid off in his later appearances.  Chris Evans when he was cast as Captain America, I was feeling that he might not be right (because he was Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four films) for the part.  I was reading an article and the author made case for Evans being Captain America, the author (whom I can no longer recall) said doubters should watch some of Evans' other films.  The other films he mentioned were Push (2009), The Losers (2010), Street Kings (2008) and Cellular (2004).  Out of those films I saw three of them with Cellular being the only one I have never seen; they were all good and Evans showed good acting in the three films I did watch.  Evans is a big reason I have become such a fan of the Cap films, though Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter was another big reason.  I think Atwell is fantastic as Peggy Carter and her chemistry with Evans makes the audience root for them.  Hugo Weaving who plays the villain Red Skull in the film is good too, but he only appears in this film as he did not enjoy the rigorous make-up he needed to get put on.  The film has a lot of adventure and features of the most heart-wrenching endings of all MCU films.  Captain America also had the wonderful Stanley Tucci as the scientist who chooses Steve Rogers to be Captain America and though his screen time was not too much, he made the most use of it.  Captain America was not a hero because of his powers, but because Steve Rogers is all heart.  The WWII setting for the film dates it as the earliest film in the MCU and it even spawned a spinoff TV show, Agent Carter.  

4) Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

I know there will be some who believe this film should be higher on the list, and I would counter their argument with my ranking saying fourth is very good.  I know if I felt for even a second that most of the characters who vanished after the snap would not come back, I think the film would have hit me a lot harder.  The film leaned very heavily on Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and GOTG; however, the star of the film is Thanos.  Josh Brolin since being cast as Thanos was barely used until this film and by the end of the film, it was hard to completely hate Thanos.  The film made Thanos a sympathetic character by taking the time to explain why he was doing what he did.  Thanos was the main character of Infinity War, which I was not expecting this and by the end of the film, I saw that Thanos earned what he accomplished.  Infinity War contained some great action, funny dialogue, and some truly emotional moments.  I was not a fan of the Wakanda scenes except for Thor's arrival and the fight with Thanos that ends with the snap.  Even though there are so many characters and storylines to follow the film slows smoothly.  Even though the film has a long running time, it never feels too slow and there are no scenes that I feel could be cut.  There are too many iconic moments to list, I would describe this film as an epic just because of all the big moments.

3) Captain America: Civil War (2016)

I will start by saying that this film is third because of the story at play in the film rather than the airport scene.  I have always beleieved that the airport scene while fun is also weird, I never bought that anyone there besides, Black Panther wanted to hurt anyone.  The airport scene is what people talk about and for me, it never worked.  The airport scene has great moments, but I never believed they were fighting.  In the comic event Civil War, the fight that happens got to build up over issues and it worked a little better.  War Machine getting hurt was the only time things felt real because there was a consequence to their actions.  The film is a great follow-up to Winter Soldier (more on that film very soon), it keeps some of the spy, espionage and the great action while expanding the characters featured in the film.  If the weakest part of the film for me is considered one of the best scenes by others tells me that I find this film fantastic from start to finish.  It does a great job of keeping Captain America front and centre (it is his film after all) while also giving other characters plenty of room to shine.  The top three films on the MCU rankings could all be number one for me.  There are many great moments in the film but for me the fight between Tony, Steve, and Bucky at the end of the film is the best part of the film.  That scene is also one of the saddest as that is what breaks the Avengers, the scene is powerful and full of big emotions.  I think at some point I will do a full article on Civil War because there is so much more I want to say.

2) Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014)

Whenever I was asked what my favourite MCU film was, for years I answered Winter Solider, and it was only until I wrote out my rankings that it finally moved to number two on the list.  Winter Soldier was the first film in the MCU that Anthony and Joe Russo directed (they went to direct three more after) and it is simply amazing.  The look and style of the film marked a shift from the previous films, it appears brighter, crisper and the action was fierce.  Getting Robert Redford who was a star of several political conspiracy films to play a key role in the film also was a great choice.  The movie plays like a political thriller with Cap on the run with Black Widow trying to figure things out.  The reveal of Bucky being the Winter Soldier did not hold as much weight for me as it was something I already knew from the comics.  The first clue of how the end of Civil War plays out was a quick flash of a newspaper article on a screen.  The bond that develops between Cap and Falcon was great and their introduction was too funny.  The film does not feature as much humor as others in the MCU, but it still has a lot of funny moments.  I think Captain America became my favourite character after this film, and I found a greater appreciation for the first Cap film.  I also liked that the film threw everything we knew about SHIELD into question with the reveal that HYDRA had infiltrated SHIELD.  That was a shocking reveal that I did not see coming, and it altered Cap's view of the world from that point on.  This film changed the entire MCU and I think this was the first truly great film that was made in the MCU, after Winter Soldier I think Marvel was more confident and made more ambitious choices.

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